HomeTelevisionReview: AEW's All Out 2019

Review: AEW’s All Out 2019

All Out 2019

All Elite Wrestling’s fourth show, All Out, is in the books. This show, like Double or Nothing, was a pivotal show for the fledgling company. It was their final show for nearly a month, it’s their final show before they debut on TNT in October, and it’d be the show where they crown their first ever champion.

AEW also needed this show to be a home run for other reasons. They needed to right the wrongs of their previous PPV efforts that saw poor commentary, production errors, and bad pacing mar generally good to really good shows. They also needed to put together a show that would top NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff which produced a potential Match of the Year in Walter vs. Tyler Bate.

So, was All Out 2019 perfect? No, it wasn’t. The production issues remained with spots being missed by the camera. Certain angles (The Dark Order) are not working. The show ran long. The commentary, while markedly improved, still needs improvement.

Yet, with all this, it’s easy to say All Out might’ve have been the most all-around fun show AEW has produced, and it gives the company a strong direction heading into October.

Let’s break everything down.

The Commentary: AEW’s booth for this show featured Excalibur, Jim Ross, and the company’s latest signing — Goldenboy (who appeared at Fyter Fest). The trio worked incredibly well together. Jim Ross had his best showing in AEW to date as he’s seemed to find his groove in the “senior analyst” role a la John Madden. His biggest issues remain his calling of the Joshi matches, as well as his over criticism of competitors in matches. Excalibur did get a bit tongue tied at times, but he remains a terrific play-by-play guy. Goldenboy, once again, proved he deserves that role on the show as he was excellent in his role vacillating between color and play-by-play. If this is the PPV crew going forward, AEW is going to be just fine.

The Casino Battle Royal for the #1 Contendership for the AEW Women’s Title: This was way better organized, and paced than the Double or Nothing Casino Battle Royale. It also told better stories.

First and foremost, I did not know I needed a blood feud between Britt Baker and Bea Priestley, but like Scorpio Sky would say “put that right in my veins.” Britt going right after Bea on the ramp, and Beat costing Britt the match was excellent, and it’s a strong feud going into TV.

Second, this was smart putting Nyla Rose in such a good position. Nyla looked weakest at Double or Nothing, and despite losing was really good at Fyter Fest. In this match the crowd, who was already into her, totally bought into her as a destroyer, and a legit contender for the Women’s Title.

Third, there were a lot of fun cameos in this match that the crowd loved — ODB, Nicole Savoy, Tenille Dashwood. But no one got a bigger pop than the “wild card” Mercedes Martinez who was met with a conquerors welcome. If I’m AEW I do not let her leave the building without a deal. The same goes Ariel Monroe aka Big Swole. She looked like an utter bad ass. Shazza McKenzie also got a hell of a reaction as did Ivelisse and Jazz. AEW would be wise to lock them up into contracts.

Finally, AEW remembered that Sadie Gibbs and Penelope Ford were on their roster. Both of them got their moments to shine, and need to be featured better going forward.

Private Party (winners) vs. Angelico & Jack Evans: If you love high spots, you will absolutely adore this match. Private Party has officially arrived, proving Fyter Fest wasn’t a fluke. They were phenomenal in the ring, but I like the fact AEW builds their youthful inexperience and over-exuberance in as why they lose control in their matches. Angelico and Jack Evans looked good again here, but the heel turn at the end was most definitely needed. We need to establish these guys, and there’s no better loud mouth heel than Jack Evans.

Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. SCU (winners): One thing that was bad in this match was they can’t figure out the name for Jungle Boy’s squad. Is it Jurassic Express, or A Boy, A Boy and Their Dinosaur? Regardless, the crowd ate this up like Sunday Brunch. SCU is just poetry in the ring, and they did a great job of making the younger team look amazing. Jungle Boy played the Ricky Morton here, and really shined the role. Marko Stunt is officially the Mikey Whipwreck of AEW — the smallest dog in the fight who’ll eat the pin but still be popular with the fans. As for Luchasaurus…he is a star. The audience was loosing their shit over everything he did, and rightfully so. He’s awesome.

I was surprised SCU won here. You’d think Jurassic Express winning would blow the roof off the joint, but then again if you’re putting SCU in the tag tournament, they have to look stronger. Also, JE looked super strong in defeat so they lost nothing here.

Kenny Omega vs. PAC (winner): I was stunned this was on so early. The match had a slight rough patch at the end, but my GOD did these two tear it up. For two guys who’ve never fought before they had incredible chemistry. PAC showed up and showed out here. His moves were quicker, fiercer, and more intense than ever before. He’s going to be an excellent addition to AEW. Omega looked like he was back in form after his rough start with Jericho in May. This was undoubtedly one of the best matches of the night, and one of the best AEW has produced. Jon Moxley was not missed in this match (we do hope he’s feeling better!). Having PAC win here was 10000% the right call. He needs to be established as a killer heel, and what better way to do that than by beating Kenny.

Cracker Barrel Clash – Joey Janela vs. Darby Allin vs. Jimmy Havoc (winner): Absolutely batshit insane does not even begin to describe this match. I thought they’d have a hard time following Omega/PAC but that opinion did not age well. These three went all out, pun intended. Havoc and Janela pulled out some of their greatest hits with the monkey flip chair spot, and the between the fingers paper cuts. Darby Allin is a mad man and the spot with the barrel was out of this world. The skateboard spot wasn’t too shabby either. Some will argue Darby not going over is bad booking, but he’s incredibly over, like Janela. The one who isn’t? Jimmy Havoc. He needed this win.

Dark Order (winner) vs. Best Friends: It was fairly obvious who was going to win here. The crowd knew it too, and they didn’t like it. The Dark Order is a very talented team but the gimmick has not resonated at all with fans. So the fans crap on them. Are the fans wrong? Nope. Was this match bad? Nope. It was a good TV match as opposed to a high stakes PPV match. The saving grace to this match was the lights on/lights off appearance of Orange Cassidy. The crowd lost it. After his lackluster response at Double or Nothing it was awesome to see the crowd embrace him.

Riho (winner) vs. Hikaru Shida: This was a solid match that once again would’ve been better on TV than a PPV. The outcome was obvious — the diminutive underdog Riho would win and go onto fight the Native Beast for the Women’s Title. Shida looks good and will be a star. Riho is definitely over with the crowd, but her double stomp-driven move set is a bit repetitive.

 Cody (winner) vs. Shawn Spears: A match I’m wildly ambivalent about.

On one hand, how can you build up Shawn Spears so much only to have him lose? Shouldn’t he have gone over in order to establish himself as a credible force within All Elite Wrestling? Doesn’t a loss pretty much kneecap his momentum? Would a loss hurt Cody? Doesn’t another victory for The American Nightmare look bad in the public eye? Will people start thinking he’s basically the Triple H of AEW? Would a loss hurt Cody? Couldn’t you have sewn the seeds for an MJF turn better here?

On the other hand, this was a ton of fun to watch. Cody came off like a main even star tonight. The entrance, the reactions from the crowd, his fire, his drive, and of course, that damn Bionic Elbow. Shawn Spears looked really good here, and this is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen him do. Tully Blanchard established himself as a really good heel manager. MJF further enriched his character by not actually turning heel immediately. And oh, hi Arn! Arn Anderson came in to deliver a vintage spine buster.

The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Bros (winners) – Escalera de la Muerte for the AAA Tag Titles: Match of the Night. Tag Team Match of the Year. This was incredible. Easily the best match these four have had together, especially in 2019 (and I’ve seen them all). The amount of absolutely breathtaking, insane, death defying moves in this match are nearly unfathomable. The Hardys vs. The Bucks in Ring of Honor a few years back was my favorite Bucks match of all-time, this one surpasses it by about 10 miles. The stuff they did here, set a new bar for tag team ladder matches. Run don’t walk to see this match. It’s also time these teams stop wrestling for a while … like for at least a year.

Making Their Debuts — Santana and Ortiz: The team formerly known as LAX made their debut laying out the Lucha Bros and The Bucks. This was the right move for them. They’d do great in NXT, but the AEW tag division is frankly better and deeper than NXT’s at the moment. These two have crazy upside and will provide lots of entertainment in AEW for quite some time.

Chris Jericho (winner) vs. Hangman Page for the AEW World Title: The right man won the belt. If you’re going into TNT on Wednesdays you want the most recognizable name with the belt. You want the guy who knows how to be a TV main event anchoring the show. Chris Jericho is AEW’s version of Terry Funk. He’s the tough and crazy veteran who gives legitimacy to the brand. Tonight, he was markedly better than in his match with Omega. He seemed more ready, more focused, and in much bette shape. He was crisper in the ring, and he has developed a great new finisher in The Judas Effect. The crowd was firmly behind him throughout.

Hangman Page had a tougher road to battle. A lot of people thought he wasn’t ready for this match. And to be fair the crowd was on him at the jump. However, people got behind him throughout, and he left the match a more popular wrestler, and more respected wrestler.

This was a very good match that had a few things that hurt it. First, the show was running long and had it been a match or two shorter, the crowd would’ve been more into it. Second, the looming specter of CM Punk did loom over the main event. You kept thinking he’d appear, but alas he told the truth in saying he was home with his wife instead of at AEW.  However, I think it’s better that the main event, the championship match, was not overshadowed by a debut. Would it have been cool? Yes. Was the show affected by him not being there? No. Is AEW at fault for him not being there? Well, he said he’s done with wrestling … so no, not AEW’s fault.

Chris Jericho being the first AEW champion is the right call, and it’s going to be fun watching him on TV again.

A replay of All Out can be ordered on Bleacher Report Live. Click here to watch.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.


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